The Prime Minister and Interior Minister HE Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al-Thani paid an inspection visit to the Lusail Tram network, to review the progress of the Lusail Tram and Doha Metro projects, as well as Qatar Rail's major achievements. Also in attendance was His Excellency Jassim bin Saif Al Sulaiti, Minister of Transport and Communications, Qatar Rail senior management, as well as male and female engineers working on the project.
His Excellency has a short journey on board of Lusail Tram, from the Depot to Lusail station. The visist marks the first official testing of the Lusail Tram train and coincides with the 1-year anniversary of the blockade against the state of Qatar. HE the Prime Minister reviewed the progress achieved during this period, which witnessed the highest progress rate across Qatar Rail's projects.
On this occasion, HE Jassim Saif Ahmed Al Sulaiti, Minister of Transport and Communications, stated: "Qatar Rail has come leaps and bounds in implementing the Doha Metro and Lusail Tram projects, which are key transport infrastructure projects to realize Qatar National Vision 2030. The progress would not have been possible without the wise leadership of HH the Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, the Emir of the State of Qatar, and the close supervision of HE the Prime Minister and Interior Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al Thani and their continuous support, especially since the blockade started."
His Excellency noted: "Over the past year, Qatar Rail persevered to face all the challenges it faced with no impact on the delivery of its projects. We stand here today very proud of the progress achieved thus far and we look forward to more and more great achievements in the upcoming period."
Commenting on HE the Prime Minister's visit, Eng. Abdulla Abdulaziz Al Subaie, Qatar Rail Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer said: "We are honoured to receive HE the Prime Minister at the Lusail Tram project site. Qatar Rai's projects have witnessed significant progress over the last year as we have devoted all our efforts to overcoming the challenges we faced and adapting to the ongoing developments. We also focused on developing alternatives, at multiple levels, to ensure that the progress of our projects is not jeopardized and that everything goes according to schedule and plan. We were also keen on finding suitable alternatives for our suppliers and manufacturers from other countries; as a result, we relocating some manufacturing activities to Qatar in cooperation with local companies, which have shown tremendous support in the process. We are sincerely thankful to all of them."
He added: "Thanks to Qatar Rail's rapid response, we were able to deal with all possible impacts and overcome the challenges we faced and the support we received from the concerned authorities and all our partners played a major role in our achievements thus far."
Lusail Tram trains travel at a speed of 60 km per hour. In total, 28 trains consisting of five carriages split in two - one for families and one for general commuters. The family carriages have 24 seats, 16 are fixed and eight are foldable. For the regular carriages, there are 40 seats, 32 are fixed and eight foldable, giving a total 64 seats. Each carriage has a space for wheelchair users and there are screens on exterior walls giving details about the journey as well as entertainment. External screens are also fitted to the front, back and sides of the trains allowing awaiting passengers to see the next destination. The Lusail Tram design concept is focused on the sea representing dhow pearl fishing and bringing in the calm, cool, elegant and tranquil elements of that medium to the design. The Lusail Tram project progress currently stands at 77%.
2017 – 2018, a year of blockade, a year of achievements
Facts and Figures:
Over the past year, Qatar Rail achieved its best progress rate ever. By end of May 2018, the Doha Metro project progress stood at 85%, while in May 2017 it stood at 59%, which means that Qatar Rail was able to achieve around 30% progress in one year, the highest progress rate achieved since the inception of the railway projects in 2013.
To this day, 100% of construction and civil works on the Doha Metro project have been completed this day, MEP works progress stands at 69%, and architectural finishes progress stands at 46%.
In 2018, Qatar Rail's workforce reached 85,000 workers, an increase of 35,000 workers from the previous year. Moreover, the total man hours on the project exceeded 450 million hours at an accident frequency rate of 0.021 that is one the lowest in any mega project across the world.
Additionally, Qatar Rail undertook strategic initiatives over the past year to efficiently deliver its railway projects, as well as transition towards becoming a world-class operational railway. Below is a summary of the milestones achieved across Qatar Rail's projects.
August 2017: Qatar Rail relocated the Building Automation & Control System (BACS) centre from its previous location in Dubai, to Doha at one of the Doha Metro project sites. The BACS centre is where the assembly of the BACS panels and the process of connecting all required BACS panels, for each station, into one complete system would take place. After rigorous testing, they would then be installed in the respective stations.
In the same month, Qatar Rail announced that it received the first batch of the Doha Metro trains on the evening of 19 August 2017, two months ahead of schedule, at Hamad Port from Japan after 21 days at sea since their departure from Kobe Port. To this day, Qatar Rail received 39 out of a total of 75 trains in readiness for the first phase of operations in 2020.
October 2017: Qatar Rail announced that it opened registration to occupy commercial spaces available at the Red Line stations of the Doha Metro project from Al Wakrah to Al Qassar. With over 10,700 m2 of retail space across 37 stations, Qatar Rail will be the first in Qatar to provide business access to rail commuters and neighborhood customers.
November 2017: Qatar Rail's Doha Metro project became the proud recipient of ITA Awards 2017 for "Major Project of the Year". The Doha Metro project was nominated under the category of "Major Project of the Year - More €500 Million" and won the award after being shortlisted alongside the Confederation LRT line in Canada, Dehli Metro Line 3 and Tehran Metro line 6. The ITA awards are considered the highest award in the world in the field of tunneling and underground projects.
The Doha Metro's scale, tight delivery time frame, technical complexity amongst other factors were taken in consideration for the award.
December 2017: A joint venture partnership of the French company Keolis and infrastructure asset management specialist, RATP, has been named as the operator of the Doha Metro and Lusail Tram. The appointment follows a highly rigorous process led by Qatar Rail, which involved extensive reviews of offers received from international bidders.
January 2018: Qatar Rail marked another milestone with the completion of the manufacture of the first, out of 28, trains for the Lusail Tram project. The Factory Acceptance Test (FAT) took place at Alstom Factory in the French City of La Rochelle in the attendance of His Excellency Jassim bin Saif Al Sulaiti, Minister of Transport and Communications, His Excellency Dr. Khalid Bin Rashid Al-Mansouri, Qatari Ambassador to France, Engineer Abdulla Al Subaie, Qatar Rail's Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, and representatives from both companies.
During the visit, the delegation took a tour at the factory of Alstom, one of the largest companies working in the manufacture of tram trains with up to 2,400 Alstom light transit trains in use worldwide. Alstom is currently working on manufacturing 28 Citadis trams and power generation equipment, in addition to signage works and railways.
February 2018: Qatar Rail launched the inaugural workshop of a series dedicated to security measures taken ahead of the operational phase of the Doha Metro and Lusail Tram projects, as well as effective and rapid emergency response. The inaugural workshop, held at La Cigale Hotel in Doha, was attended by some high-ranking officials and representatives of the Ministry of Interior, the Internal Security Force (Lekhwiya), the Ministry of Transport and Communications, Ambulance Services, Ashghal and Kahramaa.
This workshop aims to draw efficient communication strategies for cases of emergencies, as well as define the roles of various entities, design a roadmap of requirements and implementation plans to manage the interphases and dependencies, and assign responsibilities to Qatar Rail and all concerned authorities. Following this inaugural workshop, more follow-up joint workshops will be organized to tackle in great details the requirements for rapid emergency response, lay out various scenarios, complete the rules and regulations of communication protocols and endorse them before actual operations phase commences in the year 2020.
March 2018: Qatar Rail announced that it received the first, of 28, Lusail Tram at Hamad Port. Departing from Alstom factory in the French City La Rochelle to Barcelona, the Citadis trams arrived to Doha on schedule after an 18-day journey.
April 2018: Qatar Rail took part in Cityscape Qatar Conference and Exhibition 2018, which witnessed widespread participation and extensive attendance, from 22 to 25 April at the Doha Exhibition and Convention Centre. The mega event was held under the patronage of His Excellency Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al Thani, Prime Minister and Minister of Interior of Qatar.
During the first day of the exhibition, Qatar Rail signed several important agreements as follows:
- The First Ever Naming Rights Agreement: On the first day of Cityscape Qatar 2018 Exhibition and Conference, Qatar Rail announced the signing of its first ever naming rights agreement with Qatar Insurance Company. The station naming rights is among the many strategies that Qatar Rail employs to form strategic alliances with renowned local and international corporations and brands to enable them of promoting their services at the stations and reach wider market segments.
- Signing a merchant agreement for the Doha Metro and Lusail Tram tickets with QNB: Qatar Rail signed another key agreement with Qatar National Bank, a merchant agreement which will see the bank join as a strategic partner and the official acquirer bank for all travel card and fare media payments. The agreement will ensure that Qatar Rail will be able to accept payments made with all major credit and debit cards issued in Qatar and worldwide. Payments will be possible directly at the stations through the Travel Cards Vending Machines, on a dedicated website, and through the mobile APP. This will enable the quick, safe and secure purchase of travel cards and top up, as well as facilitate the purchase of limited use cards.
- Signing an agreement with Ooredoo to provide Lusail Tram users with communication services: to ensure the availability of high-quality telecommunications services to the general public using the Lusail Tram from the commencement of railway services.
- Signing a contract with Marafeq Qatar: to provide district cooling services for the Lusail Tram project through nine transport stations located in Lusail City at a capacity of 9,000 tons.
Also in April 2018:
- 5 star GSAS Award for Mushireb Station: Musheireb Station (interchange station between the Doha Metro and Lusail Tram networks), has received the sustainability award from the Gulf Organization for Research & Development (GORD) having achieved a Global Sustainability Assessment System (GSAS) 5* rating for Provisional Design and Build. This award is a major milestone for Qatar Rail and a testament to the quality of the design, which was developed by the Architecture Department of the company. The assessment also covered the construction of the station and MEP systems which met all the GORD standards for GSAS 5* rating.
- Green Line Retail Launch : Qatar Rail opened registration to occupy commercial spaces available at the 11 stations of the Doha Metro Green Line from Al Mansoura to Al Riffaa following the successful launch of Red Line retail spaces registration last October, which corroborated through robust participation from a variety of retailers an occupancy rate more than 100%.
- Moushtarayat 2018: Qatar Rail participated in the third Government Procurement and Contracting Conference and Exhibition – Moushtarayat 2018. Qatar Rail's participation in the event cemented its commitment to support the private sector, as well as small and medium enterprises by providing them with opportunities to take part in the landmark projects undertaken by the company.